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'Lost at Sea' Australian describes his rescue

Timothy Shaddock   -  
Copyright © africanews
AP Photo


An Australian sailor who spent three months adrift with his dog in a catamaran, less than 10 metres in length, has been explaining why he set sail across the Pacific Ocean and what went wrong.

Timothy Lyndsay Shaddock had quit his corporate job two years earlier and moved to Mexico to pursue his dream of sailing solo across the ocean.  The 54-year-old needed a place to live and he liked the isolation.

When he arrived in Mexico inn June 2020, he lived for a while in San Miguel de Allende; a colonial town popular with foreign tourists.  There, he met Bella, a black and brown stray dog who became his constant companion - on land and at sea.

And in an interview he described his thoughts on the day he set sail.

“There’s one moment where you know you’re going and it’s most likely that you will not stop - and I remember that day very well, because once you hit the Pacific, the wind and the current is behind you, it’s one way, you cannot come back.”

Shaddock and Bella were a few weeks into their journey when a storm hit

He lost his sail, all of his electronics, including navigational equipment and his ability to cook food.

Days became a battle against fatigue: fixing things on the boat, fishing, capturing rainwater.

Keeping Bella fed and content gave him added purpose. The two subsisted on raw fish and rainwater.

But Shaddock has some very positive memories.  

“It was very good sailing on that full moon. The boat was moving fast. It was a clear night. The winds were strong. You know, I was amazed how the boat moved and it felt so good, like, to sail under that moon and in the perfect direction."

He was rescued on 12 July by the crew of a Mexican tuna boat - the Maria Delia.  Aboard the María Delia, Shaddock and Bella were given first aid and lots of attention. 

Shaddock says he has now given his loyal companion to an animal lover on the crew of the María Delia because Australian quarantine laws mean he will not be able to her home.

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